2015 Honors & Awards Banquet

On March 20th we came together in a record numbers to celebrate the service and achievements of dozens of our MAATA members at the 2015 Honors & Awards Banquet. As usual the festivities did not disappoint. The night was filled with good food, even better family, friends and colleagues, and, of course, great stories.

Events kicked off with the scholarships and awards. David Carr and Jeff Rudy took the podium to honor and award MAATA Research & Education grants, along with Scholarships. Recipients included Adam Rosen, Melanie McGrath, David Shannon, Mary Larson, Tona Hetzler, Kristin Tivener, Leah Kroeger, Rachel Evans, Karisa Fuerniss, Trev Muth, Maria Backes, Mara Reidel, and Jennifer Luper-Lark. This was followed by the first-ever Young Professional Committee Distinction Award going to Jason Enrud. Doug West was recognized as the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer, Paul Richter with the Athletic Training Service Award, the Ethnically Diverse & Female Recognition went to Taryn West, and Mary Beth Zwart was honored with the Athletic Training Educator of the Year. There were two unscripted and special honors on the evening as well. Out-going Executive Director, Eric McDonnell, was recognized for his distinguished of service, as was Barb Radenmacher for her years of service to MAATA registration. However, the climax of the event is always the Hall of Fame (HOF) Inductees.

James “Jim” Rudd was honored posthumously. Jim was well traveled and spent stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Mercer County Community College, Kansas State University, West Virginia University, and then Valdosta State College. However, his much of his career was book-ended by his professional career at the University of North Dakota. In Jim’s NDATA Hall of Fame application, he stated “The measure of my career is not so much what I have done, but what former students and staff go on to do in their professional careers.”   Jim was nominated by Sara Bjerke, who stated, “Jim took pride in his work, in many ways contributed to the development of MAATA and NATA; but to many of Jim’s students and colleagues his dedication and contributions are endless.” Makoto Tsuchiya who accepted Jim’s award on behalf of the Rudd family wove a tale of a man who although innovative and driven, he always came through with compassion and good ole country attitude. Jim is missed by us all, but we find comfort in knowing his legacy and impact will forever impact our MAATA community.

Click HERE to watch Jim’s induction speech.

Our second inductee was John Roslien. John has spent his entire 29 year career at Central College in Pella, IA and now serves as Associate Professor and Athletic Training Program Director. Current MAATA President and HOF nominator, Rob Marshall, spoke both humorously and appreciatively of his time spent on the MAATA Board of Directors with John. In his acceptance speech John described a career of maturation and growth that has always been saturated with the love for the profession and service to others. John described the induction as extremely humbling, and shared a humorous story about his daughter’s reaction when responding to the award, “Dad, you aren’t that big of a deal.” Humor turned to serious tones, as John closed and thanked his family and staff for all their love and support through the years. John explained that being inducted in to the MAATA Hall of Fame is a truly unexpected honor.  He stated, “This honor reflects how fortunate I have been to have a great team around me.  I have been…around fantastic people my entire life.” In closing, John remarked, “he’s still living the dream.”

Click HERE to watch John’s nomination.

Click HERE to watch John’s acceptance speech.

The last honoree of the evening was Doug Long. Doug is the former MAATA President and current Public Relations Chair. He has served in several capacities throughout his service to the MAATA, and a well-known “character” around the District. Nominator, Rusty McKune, described Doug as the ultimate people person, beloved by his co-workers, colleagues, and student-athletes. He has been a stimulus for positive change across the MAATA, and been a driving force for collaboration and involvement, including the placement of the YPC on the BOD. Doug reinforced this when describing his methods for “throwing folks under the bus” and watching them grow. Through his humor, expertise, and mentorship he has a knack for helping professionals blossom. Accompanied by his family, Doug thanked them for their understanding and support of his crazy schedule. And one young man in the crowd was especially proud of his grandpa on this special night.

Click HERE to watch Doug’s nomination.

Click HERE to watch Doug’s acceptance speech.

As usual this was a wonderful evening. Congratulations again to all our MAATA 2015 award winners! A complete list of honorees and bios can be found HERE.